The structural characterization of sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) carbohydrates remains an important target for analytical chemists attributable to challenges introduced by the natural complexity of these mixtures and the defined need for molecular-level details to elucidate biological structure–function relationships. Tandem mass spectrometry has proven to be the most powerful technique for this purpose. Previously, electron detachment dissociation (EDD), in comparison to other methods of ion activation, has been shown to provide the largest number of useful cleavages for de novo sequencing of GAG oligosaccharides, but such experiments are restricted to Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometers (FTICR-MS). Negative electron transfer dissociation (NETD) provides similar fragmentation results, and can be achieved on any mass spectrometry platform that is designed to accommodate ion–ion reactions. Here, we examine for the first time the effectiveness of NETD-Orbitrap mass spectrometry for the structural analysis of GAG oligosaccharides. Compounds ranging in size from tetrasaccharides to decasaccharides were dissociated by NETD, producing both glycosidic and cross-ring cleavages that enabled the location of sulfate modifications. The highly-sulfated, heparin-like synthetic GAG, ArixtraTM, was also successfully sequenced by NETD. In comparison to other efforts to sequence GAG chains without fully ionized sulfate constituents, the occurrence of sulfate loss peaks is minimized by judicious precursor ion selection. The results compare quite favorably to prior results with electron detachment dissociation (EDD). Significantly, the duty cycle of the NETD experiment is sufficiently short to make it an effective tool for on-line separations, presenting a straightforward path for selective, high-throughput analysis of GAG mixtures.
Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2017
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